Animals / Types of Birds / Owls / Barn Owl - The White-masked Ghost Owl

Barn Owl - The White-masked Ghost Owl


hole in the barn

 

The Barn Owl is the most widespread species of owl in the world; an incredibly hardy creature, this owl can live in almost any habitat and climate, excluding deserts or extremely cold polar regions. Because of its widespread presence, it is often referred to as the Common Barn Owl to avoid confusion with other owls of a different type.
The Barn Owl is a beautiful creature, both easy to recognize and enjoyable to watch. Its feathers are usually of a light brown or gray color, and are covered with a unique speckled pattern of black and white. Probably the most striking and recognizable feature of this owl is its bold, mask-like white face. Its eyes are dark and piercing, with a down-turned beak to complete its phantom-esque appearance. Without question, it could cause a serious scare if you were to encounter it in the middle of the night!

 

 

flying

 

They are completely nocturnal animals. After dark, they will begin hunting for their morning meal (morning for them, that is). This consists of small ground-dwelling creatures such as mice, rats, rabbits, or squirrels. Occasionally they may also feed on insects, such as crickets, as well. Upon detection if its prey with its extremely sensitive hearing, this swift creature dives down from above grabbing up its target with its sharp talons. The can even hunt in complete darkness with only their sense of hearing.

 

two owls

 

Unfortunately, they have a relatively short lifespan, living only one to two years. However, this is due to their natural predators (such as hawks, eagles, and raccoons). They live much longer in captivity, sometimes over 25 years.

 

aging young

 

One interesting aspect of the Barn Owl to consider is its unique history. In the past, it has been associated with numerous strange and dark themes, such as witchcraft, and even death itself! Due to this negative perception, the owl carries many nicknames; “Ghost Owl”, “Death Owl”, and others follow this creature around. Because of this, it has been hunted, in the past, by many farmers who believed they were bad omens. The truth of the matter, however, is that it’s diet and habitat lend to it being one of the most beneficial creatures for farmers and landowners.

 

 

 

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